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[rock the dub Interview]: Joulz Il

Been a minute for a lot of things... it's been a while since I did an interview on RTD, and its been a while since Joulz Il told me he was quitting Hip-Hop (and about two years since my last sit-down with Jou). That's one of those things I can't stand, when naturally-talented individuals get tired and walk out. I understand where he was coming from, but that didn't mean I liked it. Coming off of his amazing features on Offshore Drilling, as well as the other things he/we have bubbling, it made no sense to me, so when I got the word that he was not only back, but had a number of projects ready to let go right now? All over it. I had to get some words in with him about the past year, his big ideas for 2010 and where he sees himself both within the Hip-Hop game and in 2011. Check it out.

khal: So, how did 2009 treat Joulz Il? What are some of the highlights of your year?

Joulz Il: 2009 was a transitional year for me. The loss of my grandfather and the birth of a new member of my family were all in the span of about seven months. Musically, I was blessed to have been a part of the Kid Hum/RTD Offshore Drilling project, blessed to have released Joulz Il & RTD Present: The Il Before the Storm, and to have collaborated with artists such as Chanes, The Main Course, Sky 7th and others. Those projects and collaborations were the highlights of the year for me. They let me stretch my legs a bit.

khal: Around the middle of ’09, there was a lot of talk/leaks from your Il Identity project, but we’ve not seen or heard about it dropping. What’s the story on that project?
Joulz Il: Funny you should ask. The Il Identity was actually released on New Year's Day! Its part of a trilogy of albums that I'm hoping everyone will feel.

khal: How soon can people expect to get parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy?

Joulz Il: Thats a really good question. The Il Supremacy is going to be available on January 22 and The Il Ultimatum will be available on February 12.

khal: Three projects in the span of two months, dope. What is this all building up to?

Joulz Il: The Il Trilogy is a precursor to my full length album entitled The Return Of The Beatdown.

khal: Why did you chose the title The Return Of The Beatdown?

Joulz Il: Honestly, it just came to me. Lyrically, people have gotten away from everything a beatdown would entail. The entire game went on a vacation and came back wearing skinny jeans, belt chains, and too little t-shirts. Me personally, I could never get with that. I miss the good old fashioned, passionate feel of running up and just swinging on someone that acts like M.O.P., Busta Rhymes, Scarface, Sean Price, Mystikal and a slew of others used to bring. Just seems like everyone got so used to being a robotic version of themselves and singing off key. It just made me want to bring that back, hence, The Return Of The Beatdown.

khal: Anyone who’s heard your output, be it “My Microphone” or your earlier works, has to know that you’re a gifted lyricist. Why do you think skills like yours are often overlooked when it comes to the mainstream Hip-Hop community?

Joulz Il: Truthfully, people are afraid of lyricists. Lyricists make you re-evaluate your rap career and whether or not stringing a bunch of punchlines together is a really good idea. Actually, labels have to make their money and there has been more money made from the new breed of music (i.e. dance songs, blatant pseudo-thug fairy tales, etc.) than from the songs with outright lyricism that stay true to the core of where hiphop started. Suffice it to say, even blogs have now resorted to writing reviews and only featuring songs from people who are already on. People want attention and its easier to get that when you go with the "HOT RIGHT NOW" instead of the "CAN CREATE CLASSICS" guild. I believe I fall into the latter.

khal: Are you working on any other projects outside of your series of releases?

Joulz Il: Actually, yes I am. The KhemLab project has been in the works for a while now with artists like Junclassic, Sky 7th, The Main Course, Chanes, Cy Yung, Articulate, Pugz Atomz & WhyGee. Think of it as a new Wu-Tang (ed. note: more information on this as it develops). So many emcees and each one brings their respective flow to the table. I'm definitely excited about that. I'm also looking forward to doing another "Joulz Il & RTD Presents" project later in the year.

khal: We can do that whenever. What are some of your goals and aspirations within the game?

Joulz Il: I just want to be heard. Period. I don't have to be the most famous. I just want to be able to be thought of when people mention dope lyricists. I have to be in that conversation. Other than that, I'm open to whatever happens. I've always been a fan of the arts, both music and theater, and this is the year in which I have been blessed to do both.

khal: In January 2011, where do you think your work will have taken you?

Joulz Il: If God loves me and hard work pays off, I will have at least been quoted once as having a verse that was flawless in someone's book. My expectations are realistic, but my desires outweigh that. I want 2011 to be the point that people ask themselves, "Who in the blue Avatar hell is Joulz Il and what rock/cave has the industry been hiding him in?"

khal: Many might not know, but you were ready to hang your pen up and call it a day at one point. What made you reconsider?

Joulz Il: People who listen to my music and basically threatened me! Ha! Between Entity Starr looking at me like I was half crazy and just about every fourth person who knew me or had the chance to meet me asking me why I was quitting, I couldn't actually walk away. I love Hip-Hop too much to just stop, so I just took a break. Didn't write. Didn't rhyme. Didn't go near a microphone and I guess the hunger just woke up. I'd hear something online or catch a song on the radio and think to myself, "Duke, come on.....you can do that". One thing led to another and here's where we are now. A trilogy of albums coming out and me feeling rejuvenated and in love with music again.

khal: Before we wrap this up, do you have any final thoughts and/or shouts you’d like to kick?

Joulz Il: If you love Hip-Hop, then this shout outs for you. For everyone who's ever downloaded anything of mine, thank you. For everyone who's ever made a comment, thank you. For anyone who ever gave me free anything just on the strength of "I heard your song", thank you. I'm just looking forward to making the best music possible for you all and for the droves of people who haven't gotten the chance to get to know Joulz Il. Happy JOU Year to all and to all a good fight!

The Return Of The Beatdown will drop on RTD Records in 2010; stay tuned for that, as well as info on The Il Trilogy, KhemLab and more! Stay in the loop with Joulz Il via twitter and Bandcamp.

1 comment:


Joulz Il is coming back stronger than ever in 2010.Skyhighworld and Cinexa Digital Studios gonna colab with Joulz on some major moves this year...keep your EYES and EARS open...."Oh lets do it"!!